Thursday, June 29, 2017

Feeling the Colors

I had a wonderful 4-day weekend in Panama City Beach, Florida. And, no, that isn't a self portrait of me on the beach! (joke!!) Graham Berry, a renowned master artist from the UK, has been one of my favorite artists since I first came across his work on Facebook. When I found out he was making his first trip to the US for workshops I immediately started trying to find one I could attend. And when I found there was one in Charleston, SC I signed up ASAP. I was a little disappointed that it was only a 2-day workshop but 2 days was better than none. And it was a fun experience and a good workshop. So good that when I found out while there that he was holding a 4-day workshop in Panama City Beach, I immediately starting making plans to attend that one also! Saint Gene and I discussed the $$ situation and decided it was worth the expense and I signed up. I'm so glad I did. Painting the human figure is a daunting thing for me. And believe me when I say I will never try portraiture. But Graham's approach is one I can get into and feel like I can do it justice. Right now my figures are a little clumsy but that's where practice comes in. And practice I will because I love the idea of painting like this. His use of color is perfect for me and makes me happy. And happy is a good thing.

I used AirBnB for lodging for the first time and it was an overall very good experience. I rented a bedroom in a private home for only $55 a night including breakfast each day (hotel minimums were running $150 a night). Yes, staying in a private home while the homeowners are there is a little awkward but my two hosts were so great that I got past that pretty quickly. There was a great swimming pool (which I didn't manage to use - but next time.....) and the food was fantastic. They even invited me to have dinner with them two nights and I'm sure glad I said yes. Wonderful gourmet cooking.

Overall, a great long weekend


Joy Journal: A tap on the shoulder and a thumbs up from the instructor

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I've Been "Resting"

Ok, so maybe "temporary" was somewhat of an understatement. It's been two years. But I'm considering restarting.

Retirement suits me. I never liked my job. I loved the friends I made on the job. But the job itself, not so much. But the money was good. And I miss that. But I don't miss the job.
I've rediscovered painting. I had been "painting buddies" with a friend here in my town and I loved having someone to talk with and discuss painting with and throw paint on paper with and critique paintings with, well, you get the idea. But she moved. She announced one day, out the clear blue, that she and her husband had decided to move to Asheville, NC. And just like that they moved. She listed her house and sold it almost immediately. And, boom, my painting buddy was gone.
And I kind of lost my will to paint. But I was asked to do a show at our local art center and one of the conditions was that I had to use paintings that had never been displayed there. And I didn't have very many of those! So we agreed that it would be a 3 person show and I set about to get some paintings done. Even then I procrastinated and didn't start on them for a long, long time. I finished the last painting the night before I needed to deliver them to the center! And now I'm energized again to paint. I'll have to go through my old posts to make sure I haven't already shared some of them with you but until then I hope you enjoy my painting shown above, "Resting", a 16x20 watercolor done on Arches 140 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper.


Joy Journal: Two of my paintings sold!!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Temporarily Closed for Renovation

The Gypsy Gold Studio blog is undergoing renovation and is temporarily closed.  A new blog is being established to showcase my paintings and it will be found on my new art blog ERNIE HENDRIX. Visit me there anytime.  I'll be adding artwork when it's created but for now paintings may not be in chronological order.


Joy Journal:  Breakfast in bed.  Wonderful.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Addiction and Going Back to Kindergarten

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OK, I admit it. I'm addicted. I've lost count of how many of these little inros I've made. But I'm still enjoying them so why not continue on.

But believe it or not, I do have other interests. Today I visited Paper Trail Art Center where the owner gave me a tour of their facility. It's all about the paper arts, which I love. It's a great place and a great resource, especially for book artists in the general Atlanta area. They have a book shear! Something that will cut through my bookboard without killing my hands! The only problem is that they are a loooooonnnnnnggg way from where I live. The Atlanta metro area is huge and I'm on one side, the west side, and they are on the other side, the east side. But they have an "Adult Kindergarten" on Friday evenings where you can come and just play and I'm going to try to attend a few of those. I used to make a lot of books and just recently have gotten back into making star books and going back to kindergarten sounds like fun!

Joy Journal: Being inside, eating jerk chicken, while it poured down rain.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


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It seems I've become obsessed wih making polymer inros. What are polymer inro? They are little boxes that open that you wear as a necklace. They are derived from the ancient Japanese inro which are far more complicated. I learned how to make them from the late Gwen Gibson, a polymer clay legend, many years ago and went on a run of making them. But I hadn't made one in a long, long time. I still wear the original ones I made and several times I had been asked by guild members to teach a class in how to make them. I finally agreed and thought, well, I better brush up on my technique to be sure I remember how before I try to teach someone else how to make one. After making the first one, I was completely hooked. And now I can't stop. I have plenty of samples, the workshop is filled up so I don't need to advertise - and I keep right on making more inros. I've sold four of them already (for April delivery) but I think I'm going to have to a find a bigger market or else quit making them. And I can't seem to quit!!


Joy Journal: Plenty of time to play with my polymer.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Classy Situation

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I'm busy getting ready to teach a workshop for my local polymer clay guild - in April! The workshop is on making inros, little pendants that are based on the ancient Chinese inro box. From the way I'm preparing you would think the workshop is tomorrow. But that's just me. I like to be prepared well in advance, I make lists of things, I buy the supplies I need now, not in April. And then when the day finally comes, I still feel like I'm not ready! But I really enjoy the workshop itself. I love the teaching and interacting. And I get a lot of compliments so I must be fairly good at it.

And I've also been asked to teach a bookmaking class at Creative Journey Studios, but that won't be until either July or September. Not sure which yet so both dates are reserved on my calendar. Now this class I am very confident about. The class isn't hard and the results are something really unique - a star book. And there is a lot preparation involved in this class, but I've taught it before so I'm confident about it.

Heading up to frozen Tennessee Monday, could sure use a break in this COLD weather.

Joy Journal: Spicy Hoppin' John

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Almost Frozen

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I have to look really hard to find something beautiful to photograph in the winter. Browns and greys just don't appeal to me. But I think I managed to find something for this photograph. This was at the edge of a wooded area near my house and I'm pretty sure it's a hydrangea bloom. But it reminds me of an old sepia-toned photograph.

Jo and I went to a free art workshop/presentation at Sam Flax in Atlanta yesterday presented by Golden paints. The presentation was ok, and they gave us a free package of assorted Golden acrylic paints, but I thought I would die before it was over!! Yesterday the outside temp never got above freezing. And the temp inside Sam Flax was pretty close to that, too!! Their heating system was broken and the blowers were stuck in the "on" position. So it was blowing cold air directy on us. I've never wished more for a hat and gloves - I had the coat and definitely had it on and buttoned up. Jo was comfortable!! Everyone else was bundled up like Eskimos in Alaska. We decided to immediately go to Starbucks and get something warm in my body!! I need to check the package of paints I got and see if they have thawed out yet!!


Joy Journal: Starbucks Vanilla Latte, definitely!!

Friday, January 03, 2014

New Year's Cup of Words

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As I was thinking of my word for the year (Energy) I was searching for words that might work for me. Ali Edwards always has a word of the year project on her blog so I copied all of the words that her readers were using and I created a word cloud out of them. Using Tagxedo I was able to make the words into a coffee cup shape which I felt was appropriate because I do a lot of my thinking over a cup of coffee. There are some really good words in this list and many of them would have worked for me. But "energy" is still the word I need, so I'm sticking with it.


Joy Journal: Saint Gene's Birthday Dinner

Thursday, January 02, 2014


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My backyard on this gloomy, grey day.

Winter is so NOT my favorite time of year. Grey, gloomy, often rainy. Just generally depressing. And let's not forget cold. I'm not a big fan of cold either. I do think I have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Just a touch, not enough to cause me to dip into depression but enough that I'm aware of it. And today is one of those rainy, gloomy, grey days. Fortunately, it's not that cold. But it's not the best way to start the new year.

And speaking of the new year, I've decided that my word this year is ENERGY. I want to infuse a little more (and sometimes a lot more) energy into my life. I've gotten lazy. Some of it has to do with the knee issues I've been having (and continue to have!) but most of it is just pure laziness. It's become much too easy to put off doing things, even things I really enjoy doing. So this year I'm going to work on upping my energy level. I'm starting tomorrow. (JOKE!) I started yesterday and am going to continue all year. But I'm still going to sleep late. That's a retirement luxury I refuse to give up.

Joy Journal: Home made hot chocolate. Divine!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jo's Christmas Present

Jo's Christmas Present
"Bittersweet Beauty"
8" x 10" ink and watercolor on 140lb Arches

Shhhhhh! It's a secret. Jo hasn't seen her Christmas present yet. But since she doesn't read my blog (I don't think she even knows I have it) or any other blog for that matter, I'm pretty sure the secret will be safe from her. Jo is my dear friend with whom I spend most of my Wednesdays. We get together every week to paint in her studio. This year I wanted to give her something a little special. And what is so special about this painting? Well, I become very attached to my paintings and don't want to part with them. The only one that I've ever let go was a Christmas present for my brother and sister-in-law, very special people to me. This will be only the second one. Jo is getting the original, not a print. This one is a little different than my usual style and it is breaking my heart to let it go!! But if there is anyone who will love it like I do, it will be Jo since she is also an artist. I loved painting this. I could just let myself go with color and since reds, yellows, oranges and golds always make me happy, I was a happy girl playing with this. And, of course, I have scanned it in so I can make myself a print anytime I want!!

Joy Journal: Beautiful true color from my new printer.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Creating is Messy Business

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Creating isn't a neat and tidy process, at least not for me anyway. And I have to confess, these pictures were taken AFTER I had cleaned up a little bit!!! But I had to take the pictures. Those bright blue pieces of paper just sing to me. I love them!!

Saint Gene and I went on our first cruise last May on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas. And we loved pretty much every minute of it. We splurged and got a junior suite and I'm SO GLAD we did!! It was fabulous to be able to sit out on the balcony and watch the ocean go by. The clouds were particularly impressive one day and I took a lot of pictures of the incredibly blue sky with the white clouds in their diferent formations. I took lots and lots and lots of pictures on this cruise and they have been sitting on their little DVD just waiting for me to do something with them. So now I am. I'm making a star book to memorialize our cruise and using some the many, many pictures I took. And I'm using the sky photos as backgrounds. Saint Gene and I both marveled at the beauty of the changing colors of the sea and the brilliance of the sky away from land. And when I saw those beautiful blue papers I knew immediately I had to use them to make a book.

I had forgotten in all my painting absorption how much I enjoy working with paper. My little Caribbean Blue Star Book is really a labor of love. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself.

Joy Journal: A warm bed on a cold morning.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Life Interferes Sometimes!

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Have you ever noticed how life has a way of interferring with the plans we make? Plan for a picnic and it rains, right? But I'm not complaining. Really, I'm not. If life were all that predictable it would get kinda' boring. And while I'm not an adrenalin junky in any sense of the word, the situations we face that stop us in our tracks also make us grateful for those days that slide smoothly along.

So what have I been doing? My brother was seriously ill and that took up two full months of the summer. He's doing very well now so it was definitely worth it. Our polymer clay guild had a retreat that I was responsible for and it turned out fabulous. So all my hard word there payed off. I entered one of my paintings in an art show and was a "featured artist" in their advertising. Didn't win an award but that's ok - my painting is hanging in their exhibit right now and other people are getting to see it. You should be able to easily tell which one is mine in the photo above {grin}. Saint Gene had extremely risky surgery on an 85% blocked carotid artery. The surgery was very successful and he's doing great. A big relief. Next up is arthroscopic surgery on my left knee. I'm 'kinda, 'sorta looking forward to the surgery (though not the recovery process) so that I can get full use of the knee again. I miss being able to walk around for an hour in my favorite craft store!! The knee also kept me from getting out with my camera and capturing the fall color. But overall life is good. And I'm grateful for that!!!

Joy Journal: The roast in the crockpot smells wonderful!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


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It's hard to believe I'm already seeing Fall leaves in the trees. I've been spending so much time indoors lately and it really felt good to be able to be outside today as much as I wanted. My brother is in the hospital and we're staying with him so that means lots of time indoors in a tiny little ICU room. Today was my "day off" so I took full advantage of it. The beautiful red leaf above was seen on my way in to a fun lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, followed by some time at Sam's Club, JoAnn's Arts & Crafts and Kohl's. It was tax-free weekend here in the Atlanta area so there were lots and lots and lots of people in Sam's and Kohl's. Now I'm going to sit in front of the tv and catch up on my TIVO'd Longmire and Major Crimes and enjoy being in my recliner instead of a poorly cushioned, metal ICU room chair.


Joy Journal: Sleeping late

Thursday, August 08, 2013

48 Years Ago Today

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Forty-eight years ago today at approximately this time (12:50 PM), I was a nervous wreck. Putting on the beautiful dress that my mother handmade for me, putting on my makeup, trying to make everything perfect. My brother would walk me down the aisle, my father would perform the ceremony and a handsome young Airman First Class would be waiting for me at the altar. My two wonderful cousins, Roxie and Libby would precede me down the aisle as my junior bridesmaid and flower girl (their mother did the reception for me). And Saint Gene and I would start on the 48 year journey together that brought us to this day. And the love story continues.


Joy Journal:

Friday, March 22, 2013


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On March 17 & 18 I took a polymer clay workshop with Dan Cormier. Dan and his partner Tracy were in Atlanta in connection with Synergy3, a conference sponsored by the IPCA and I took workshops from both of them. Tracy's was a non-project workshop but Dan's included making a finished bead. As is usually the case with me, I didn't get completely finished during the workshop but I managed to finish it at home. I'm very happy with the way it turned out and plan to expand on what I learned as I continue working with the technique.
Joy Journal: Ebony

My Friday Thoughts

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1. I've been retired for almost two years and Fridays still feel special.
2. If the weather would settle down I would be planting my garden.
3. Bright yellow and white daffodils will always make me smile.
4. A warm bed on a cold morning is a wonderful thing.
5. Who knew painting keys could make me happy.

This weekend will bring trips to Wal-Mart and Ross, presenting a polymer clay demo and lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings with a $5 off coupon.  Let's "Git 'er done!"

Joy Journal: Oatmeal - I love it.